Diploma in Teaching Mathematics: Numeracy Diploma - University of Sunderland

Course overview

Do you want to broaden your career options within the post-compulsory education and training sector? This course will qualify you to become a teacher in adult numeracy and functional maths.

This part-time Level 5 diploma course is for people working in colleges and training centres who already have a generic teaching qualification, and who want to improve their skills and knowledge in order to obtain a license to teach numeracy with Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status.

During the course you will learn how to develop numeracy skills using active learning strategies, informed by the latest research. A central theme is the understanding that effective numeracy learning is based around learners’ real-world lifestyles and needs.

This part-time course is suitable for existing teachers in further education who now want to become fully qualified in teaching adult numeracy.

If you are not currently working as a teacher, a more suitable course for you may be PGCE Post Compulsory Education and Training (PCET)

According to the 2011 Ofsted report on our teacher training provision, key strengths include ‘the training on the specialist diplomas in literacy and numeracy, which prepares trainees to assess learners’ needs and plan to meet those needs exceptionally well’. The Ofsted report also notes that outcomes on the diploma in numeracy ‘have improved each year and are high’.

Our course is registered with the Institute for Learning, which is the professional body for teachers, tutors, trainers and student teachers in the further education and skills sector.

Course content

Subject Specialist Knowledge and Pedagogy (Mathematics: Numeracy) (20 credits at Level 5)

This module provides an understanding of the factors that affect the development of numeracy learners. It examines the impact of learner background and popular perceptions of mathematics on the development of numeracy skills.

It stresses the importance of understanding the existing skills, background, motivations and aspirations of the learners to identify areas of interest which will motivate and inspire learners. You will examine numeracy teaching approaches that meet the needs of individual learners.

You will also consider the fundamental attributes of mathematics and numeracy, the attributes of procedures and processes within mathematics and numeracy and how the origins and status of mathematics impact on numeracy teaching.

Advancing Subject Specialist Teaching and Professional Development (Mathematics: Numeracy) (30 credits at Level 5)

This module enables you to plan and deliver numeracy teaching and learning to meet learners’ needs and curriculum requirements in a supportive, inclusive and challenging numeracy learning environment. You will apply appropriate teaching and learning strategies, including assessment for learning.

The module also examines the impact of numeracy on different contexts and subject areas. It stresses the importance of working with other specialists and practitioners to promote the inclusion of numeracy in vocational and other subject learning programmes.

You will reflect upon your own professional practice and development as a teacher. You will conduct a small-scale practitioner research project to develop and implement a potential improvement to your practice using a systematic approach to research, analysis and presentation.

Teaching and assessment

The typical contact time is 3 hours a week, to take place over one evening. You will also take part in tutorials and professional discussions.

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which include interactive workshops, presentations, independent study and teaching practice.

Assessment methods include written assignments, presentations, coursework, practical teaching (including four observations of teaching practice) and a practitioner research project.

Facilities & location

The course is based at the Forster Building on City Campus, just a few minutes from the main Murray Library and close to Sunderland city centre. It’s a very vibrant and supportive environment with excellent resources for teaching and learning.

We have thousands of books and e-books on topics related to education and training, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service.

We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

Resources include the EBSCO Professional Development Collection, which is a specialised collection of over 500 education journals.


Forster Building,

Chester Road, Sunderland, SR1 3SD

Entry requirements

We require applicants to be teachers who are either qualified or working towards qualification, and who will be able to undertake at least 50 hours of teaching numeracy / functional mathematics during the course. The teaching will be at your usual place of work.

Your personal numeracy skills should be at least at Level 3 (which is equivalent to A Level). A formal qualification is not required, as we will ask you to undertake initial assessment activities.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

Fees & finance

The tuition fee for this course is £1667.

Please note that part-time courses are not available to International students.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or International student, please see the International section of this website.

Employment & careers

There is a shortage of fully qualified numeracy / functional mathematics teachers, and successful completion of this Diploma can open up a wide range of careers within the Further Education and skills sector.

Post-16 education takes place in a wide range of settings:

  • Further education colleges
  • Specialist adult education centres
  • Training providers
  • Community and voluntary projects
  • Work-based training
  • Prisons
  • Family learning


The University has a large number of part-time students and we offer a lot of support and flexibility.

Support for your learning

From the start of the course you will be allocated a Personal Tutor who will meet with you at agreed times throughout your course. Personal Tutors encourage your personal development and are a useful point of contact for any queries about your course, extracurricular activities and issues where they can point you towards specialist services at the University. These include student counselling, financial advice and chaplaincy support.

All students complete an Individual Learning Plan at the start of the course, and you will review this with your Programme Leader at regular tutorials.  

We encourage you to identify a suitably qualified and experienced colleague from your own organisation to act as a subject mentor. We also encourage all students on the course to support each other in their learning.

Support for your development

To help ensure the course is meeting aspirations for personal development, we invite students to fill in questionnaires at the end of taught modules. This provides a structured way for you to keep us up-to-date with your views.

During your course, and particularly towards the end of it, we encourage you to make full use of the resources at our Careers & Employability Service. The Service helps you explore your options, clarify your ideas, develop a career focus and make effective applications.

Extracurricular activities

The University supports student-led initiatives that enhance the extracurricular activities available to you. Some of these are related to particular subjects while others allow you to pursue interests and social activities. It’s all part of the vibrant and life-changing atmosphere at the University of Sunderland.

For more information about all the support services you will have access to as a Sunderland student, please see Student Support & Guidance.

Apply for this course

Applications are submitted directly to the University.

Download an application form

The completion of the application form is a means of conveying information about yourself, your potential and your motivation. Full guidance on how to complete this form is available online. Alternatively, visit one of our open days and speak to our staff and current students, or drop-in to see us at The Gateway on the City Campus.

Contact Sunderland

Programme Leader:
David Prinn

For more information, contact:

The Recruitment Team
Tel: 0191 515 3845
Email: ell.enquiries@sunderland.ac.uk

The details

Course Name Diploma in Teaching Mathematics: Numeracy
Classification Diploma
Course Mode Part-time
Course Level CPD
Duration 3 hours per week (one twilight session)
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 23 September 2014
UK/EU Fee £1,667
Intl Fee £Unavailable

Entry Requirements

Numeracy skills - Level 3 minimum, a generic teaching qualification (e.g. PGCE), and access to 50 hours of Numeracy / Functional Maths teaching during the course.

Related courses

If Diploma in Teaching Mathematics: Numeracy Diploma isn't right for you, try these courses instead:

Search for something different?